Welcome to the E-newsletter of the Nebraska Coalition for Lifesaving Cures June 2016! Below are a few articles that caught our eye this month. Enjoy.

Stem cell stories that caught our eye: hearts with nerve, keeping adult stem cells as stem cells and lab models for the inner ear and pituitary

inner ear organoid

Here are some stem cell stories that caught our eye this past week. Some are groundbreaking science, others are of personal interest to us, and still others are just fun.

Hearts with nerve. When trying to heal a damaged heart you can’t just worry about the heart muscle, you also need to pay attention to the nerves that tell the muscle what to do. A team at John Hopkins has grown nerves from stem cells in the lab that connect to heart cells growing in the same dish, a key step to making the two tissues collaborate where you need them.

Read more here.

5 big picture stem cell trends at #ISSCR2016

ISSCR 2016 Annual Meeting

Now that the ISSCR annual meeting is over, some overall stem cell trends are evident from the meeting in terms of the direction of the stem cell field. This was one of my favorite ISSCR meetings.

Translation expectation and upbeat tone. The overall vibe at the meeting was a sense of excitement and optimism about the field and where it stands in terms of advancing knowledge and translating stem cells to the clinic. There are challenges and debates over the different possible paths forward, but the general buzz at the meeting was positive and optimistic. It was also great to see quite an impact from patient advocates at the meeting including from several who were speakers.

Read more here.

Patient gets cancer growing on spine from dubious stem cell treatment

Stem Cell Spinal Tumor

A brief report in the NEJM today highlights the risks facing patients who get stem cell treatment from dubious clinics as one such patient recently developed a large spinal tumor.

Dr. Aaron L. Berkowitz and colleagues describe how this patient who received a mixture of several stem cell types from an overseas clinic was later diagnosed with a very unusual neoplastic growth on his spine.

The data point to the tumor arising from the stem cell treatment as it was genetically distinct from the patient.

Read more here.

Upcoming Events

July 12: Science Cafe

Deann Akins-Lewenthal, Ph.D., Director of Food Safety and Microbiology for ConAgra Foods, will lead the discussion titled, “Food Safety: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” Learn more here.